If you are planning to go to the beach anytime soon, be sure to keep abreast with the new sunscreen recommendations. The latest and most accurate Sunscreen Guide was completed by the Environmental Working Group and it features all the vital information beach-goers should know before exposing themselves to harmful solar radiation.
75% of Sunscreens Are Ineffective
The report shows that almost 75% of sunscreen products currently on the market contain harmful chemicals or are simply ineffective. To complete this report, the group reviewed more than 1,500 products, including over 100 different types of moisturizers, 300 sunscreens, and 40 lip balms. About 25% of the products met all the safety criteria.
The EWG group focused on 5 factors for each product. For them, the most important trait of a good product was the lack of any potentially harmful chemical substances. Then, they focused on the way the sunscreens were applied. For instance, spray sunscreens could have negative effects when inhaled. Finally, the analyzed the product’s efficiency and the way it blocks UVB and UVA rays.
When the time came to draw up the latest recommendations, researchers also looked at the rate of decay of active ingredients. The products are no longer effective if the ingredients break down, so scientists managed to accurately pinpoint how often an individual must reapply a certain brand of sunscreen. The EWG also looked at the balance between UVB and UVA protection, especially since tricky companies only mention the product’s SPF (the level of protection against UVB rays) on the label.
What They Learned
Despite a considerable improvement in sunscreen quality, only 25% of these products met the high standard set by EWG. The number of mineral-only products doubled between 2007 and 2017. In 2007 only 17% of sunscreens were mineral-only. Now, more than 34% feature these ingredients. These sunscreens are the best because they don’t contain chemicals and the active ingredients (titanium dioxide or zinc oxide) don’t break down. They also offer great protection against both UVB and UVA rays.
When it comes to protecting your children, you can only choose from 19 products that met the strict criteria. Despite the fact that the FDA doesn’t have any specific criteria for children’s sunscreens, the EWG examined the best products for kids, focusing on lotions on products that don’t contain any retinyl palmitate or oxybenzone which can be harmful to the health of children.
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